Updated 2 years ago

Do you need a visa to travel to South Africa? What are the relating conditions and formalities? Find out in this article.

If you are planning to travel to South Africa, regardless of the duration of your stay, you will probably need a visa. However, nationals of some countries are exempted from the visa requirement in the case of a short stay. In all cases, make sure to inquire about all conditions and requirements before moving.


To be authorized on the South African territory, you must be in possession of a:

  • passport (valid throughout your stay in the country)
  • at least one blank page on your passport
  • your return ticket
  • a medical certificate if you have transited by any South American or African country where yellow fever is present.

Foreign nationals requiring a visa must also be in possession of sufficient funds to support themselves throughout their stay in South Africa. A recent bank statement can thus be produced.

Types of visas

There are different types of visas for South Africa applying to different purposes, namely studies, work, tourism, marriage, etc. These have been classified into two main categories: short stay visas and temporary resident visas. Note that various conditions apply to each type of visa.


Nationals of some countries are exempted from the visa requirement when making a short stay in the country, that is a 30 to 120 days stay. Find more information in the article Visas for South Africa.

 Useful links:

Government of South Africa – Temporary residence visa www.gov.za/services/services-foreigners/temporary-residence
Government of South Africa – Permanent residence visa www.gov.za/services/services-foreigners/permanent-residence

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